Management of Fractured Inferior Vena Cava Filters: Outcomes by Fragment Location.
Radiology. 2017 Sep;284(3):887-896. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2017162005. Epub 2017 Apr 19. Trerotola SO1, Stavropoulos SW1.
To inform the management of fractured inferior vena cava filters on the basis of results from a tertiary referral center specializing in complex filter retrieval.
Materials and Methods
This study had institutional review board approval and was HIPAA compliant. Retrospective analysis of all patients with fractured filters and/or filter fragments evaluated for removal in a complex filter removal program was performed. Removal was attempted when fragments were intravascular or immediately extravascular by using primarily endobronchial forceps for caval fragments and snares for cardiac and pulmonary fragments. Data collected included success rate and complications of filter and fragment removal, symptoms relating to the filter or fragment, techniques used for removal, and follow-up of retained fragments.
Sixty-five patients (12 men, 53 women) of a total of 222 patients referred for complex retrieval had fractured filters. Of these patients, two had undergone filter removal elsewhere and had retained fragments. All 63 filters were removed successfully with forceps (n = 61), a cone (n = 1), or a snare (n = 1). There were 116 separate filter fragments; removal was attempted for 78 fragments. Removal was successful for 63 (81%) of 78 fragments and varied by location. All extravascular fragments except one were retained. In all, 63 (54%) of 116 fragments were removed percutaneously, rendering 34 (54%) of 63 patients fragment free. Five minor (7.7% [five of 65]) and four major (6.2% [four of 65]) complications occurred.
Intravascular filter fragments can be removed safely with success rates that vary according to location. Because extravascular fragments are not readily accessible for removal, many patients are not rendered fragment free. © RSNA, 2017 Online supplemental material is available for this article.